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October 10, 1997     The Message
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October 10, 1997
 

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0 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana October 10, Older disabled persons learn new ski By CYRIL JONES- KELLETT Catholic News Service SPRING VALLEY, Calif. (CNS) -- A major issue confronting caregivers of developmentally dis- abled adults is the aging of the disabled population, according to a Benedictine nun. Advances in medical care have dramatically extended the lilt expectancy of persons with disabil- ities, and finding projects older disabled adults can undertake is a challenge, said Benedictine Sister Kathrvn Jennmgs. She is founder and executive director of Noah Homes, a facility in Spring Valley about 10 miles east of San Diego, which serves adults with such disabilities as mental retardation and autism. Noah Homes has launched a horticulture program to provide greenhouse work for residents as they age. "Working in the dirt, with plants and soil, is very ener- gizing, very healing" for them, said Sister Jennings. Fifty-two people currently live at Noah Homes, rang- ing in age from 24-58. Many of its developmentally dis- abled residents also have secondary disabilities such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Younger clients are able to leave the Noah Homes campus to work in local stores, restaurants, and hospi- tals. But as clients approach what for many people would be their middle years, they begin to lose the skills they have acquired. Their physical ability to confront the challenges of an outside work life diminishes. "Between the ages of 40 and 50, 1 see averv rapid process of aging," Sister lennings said in an interview with The Southern Cross newspaper of the Diocese of San Diego. Using grant funds and a spirit willing to try new things, last April the Noah Homes staff launched its horticultural program It is meant for the "the men and women who are getting a little older, who are finding it more difficult to travel into the community, so that they can stay here and work," said Sister Jennings. Clients of the nearby St. Madeleine Sophie&apos;s Center, another center for those with develop- mental disabilities, have also found work in the new nursery. Greenhouse coordinator Laura Broski said both she and the workers she supervises get "that green feel- ing (of) life, nature, growth" from their work among the plants. Clients who a few short months ago were put off by the mud, spiders, and lizards that are part of the out- door work, are now enjoying themselves. They are also taking pride in their accomplishments, accorfting to Broski. "They are so proud of their work," she said. "When they see the flowers growing, they just get so The Noah Homes greenhouse sits on bought in 1993, which had been run as a nursery but needed some refurbishing. The renoval were financed with local grant monev. In the first three months of operation, the workers have potted more than 3,000 plants. Plans for selling the native California plants grown nursery to professional landscapers and to the The project has already begun paying the workers. orking in the dirt, plants and soil, is energizing, very healing... 5 Sister Jennings described the experience of ing living things as a "a partnership with God ating something." In the future, the Noah Homes director hopes shei be able to entice a scholar from a local measure the therapeutic effects of work in th She would like to document whether such lowers blood pressure, aids in sleep, or provides health benefits to persons with disabilities. Catholic disabilities office presents opening doors WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A program to raise disability awareness among St. Louis sem- inarians and deacon candidates and a strategic plan to bring more disabled people into Boston religious education classes were honored with the 1996-97 Open- ing Doors Award. The award, which was shared by the two programs this year, is presented annually bv the National Catholic Office for Per- sons with Disabilities in Wash- ington. The national organization rec- ognizes innovative pastoral pro- grams that work to build inclu- sion within the church community" for Catholics with disabilities. Honorable mention was given this year to the Church of the Assumption in Bellingham, Wash., for efforts to fully wel- come and include parishioners with disabilities. The St. Louis Program of Awareness was developed by Lorraine Fahey, director of the archdiocesan Catholic Office of Disability Ministry, and is now in its third year. At annual daylong work- shops, seminarians and candi- dates for the permanent dia- conate learn about disability issues and hear suggestions, techniques and solutions for liturgical, programmatic and architectural inclusion of people with disabilities into parish life. The Office of Religious Edu- cation of the Archdiocese of Boston shared first-place honors for its strategic plan to increase inclusion and participation of people with disabilities in reli- gious education programs. The Boston office also inte- grates expertise in catechesis involving people with disabili- ties into the overall religious education effort of the archdio- cese. Receiving special praise were the office's booklets on "Cate- chests with Persons with Dis- abilities: What's a Parish to Do?" and "Persons with Dis- abilities: How To's for Parish and Catechetical Leadership." Also recognized was its pro- duction of two television seg- ments on guidelines for appro- priate integration and models of inclusion in various parishes. They will air on Boston Catholic Television. In the Bellingham parish, "all the parishioners, school chil- dren and religious education personnel have been educated about disabilities," according to Josephine Davidson, a member of the church's Task Force on Disabilities. Projects have ber of educational including bulletin book on sensitivity being by students in reli tion and in the parish The church, which has print hymnals and a Mass in American Sign guage, is to be make it , accessible. Actress against cloning for spiritual WASHINGTON (CNS)- The actress who played the lead role in an NBC made-for-TV movie on cloning says she is against the practice for spiritual reasons. "l absolutely disagree with cloning human beings. I think it's a really bad idea on a spiritual level," said Elizabeth Perkins, star of "Cloned," which was broad- cast Sunday, Sept. 28, on NBC. "It's just toying with some- ihing we have absolutely no business toying with," Perkins remarked in press materials promoting the movie. "The cloning idea, it's just toying with something I think we should best leave alone." In June the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican issued a detailed condemnation of human cloning, saying it would violate a number of ethical norms and turn the human being into an "industrial product." The academy said cloning would exploit bring suffering to the person and lead ther down the road to breeding, known as eu In her remarks, Perkins the concept of cloning also scares her. "The 'future' is going pen a lot sooner than we she added. Protests planned being administered for free to 10,000 .L ,.' .a!.$, | !ve.!!a! l .,..,h,,,,,-i,, l,,,,..ll,, .......................... women as part of FDA-required clinical trials. NEW YORK (CNS) -- Accusing a local university and hospital of expand- ing abortion availability in Manhattan with chemical and surgical abortion methods, a pro-life leader promised a wider presence of prayer and protest. Christopher T. Slattery, director of Expectant Mother Care pregnancy cen- ters in Manhattan and the Bronx, said he planned to "stage. protests near Columbia University's Baker Field dur- ing home football: games because Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center is involved in triIsof the drug known as RU-486 and:i,Izforming surgical legacy of Princess p!ana h00!p.s_00bJl00dr00n_ ...... NEW YORK (CNS) -- More than a month after her death, the legacy of Princess Diana lives on in some little New Yorkers. Stuffed animals, toys and flowers that mourners had left at the British Consulate in Manhattan were present- ed inmid-September to two pediatric AIDS centers  Incarnation Children's Cente and Harlem Hospital. ' la princess, who during the lat- :abortions. " .:, ter part if"her public life became an Columbia Pian is one of 12 advocate for the world's children, vis- sites in 11 U.S: cifiwhere the drug is lied Harlem Hospital's pediatric AIDS wing twice, in 1989 and 1995. Those visits were "the most impor- tant event that happened in terms of treating HIV children in New York City," said Dr. Stephen W. Nicholas, Incamation's director and a staff physi- cian at Harlem Hospital. Photographs of a smiling, radiant Diana holding babies infected with the - AIDS virus legitimized pediatric AIDS care, said Nicholas, who was present for both visits. Church-run hospital to<00e-openi, nPoland ............................. KRAKOW, Poland (CNS)-- A church- run hospital, dosed in. 1949 by the com- munist regime, reopened and will offer free treatment to dtins of Krakow. The hospital, Krakow's oldest, reopened after it was repossessed owner, the Hospitaller Order of St. of God. Speaking after the hospital's cation by Cardinal i ki of Krakow, a spokesman for the John of God order said the of repossessing the hospital emerged after the munist rule. He added that the order's claim the St. John Grande Hospital backed by patients who its pre-war services to the city. All order-run hospitals and were nationalized by Poland's munist regime in October with 334 church- run homes for theelderly, 346 teens= and 38, children's homes. 7